Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Holly Cannolis and Luxurious Lobstertails! : Mike's Pastry, Boston MA

I finally made it to Bean Town after 5 years of promising one of my best friends, Judah, I'd visit. Judah and I had our very first college class, Scientific Literature, together. We became buddies instantaneously going on crazy adventures swimming in the the chilly Columbia River, climbing Black Butte mountain and biking 100 miles to Astoria, OR. In almost two weeks he graduates from Harvard Medical School. I barely made it :)

Mike's Pastry was the #1 recommended foodie spot for my Bean Town visit. The next word muttered was always "cannoli" referring to what to get at Mike's Pastry. It's a legacy of 50 years in baking using traditional Italian techniques. The cannolis I've had in the past have all been horrible - either stale or overly sweet or both. I was skeptical, but willing to give this place a try. We biked from Judah & MIT Geeks' roomies' joint in Cambridge to the North End. This is the real Little Italy!

Anything containing the word "pastry" makes my ears perk up.

Usually there is a massive line, but it was midweek and late morning so we didn't wait. My eyes and brain were immediately overloaded with all the sweet stimuli. Mike's Pastry boasts of everything made fresh on site, using  pure ingredients. So really, we couldn't go wrong with anything we ordered. Students going to pastry school need to check this place out.

Did I mention I'm kind of competitive?

I saw the lobstertail tray nearly empty and not wanting to miss the boat or have the other customers order the last few tails I shot out a request, forgetting all about the cannolis. We left with a lobstertail, pistachio cannoli and fresh fig bar. And a coffee so I don't go psycho ;)

The lady packed our goodies in a cute, string tied box and we headed out to the edge of town for a view per Judah's request and unrelenting spirit to always be outside.
 Breakfasting on shoddy cobblestone.

Eventhough we came for the world famous cannolis,the lobstertail, was the most intriguing. The lady who took our order explained it to be filled with a trifecta of three creams: white custard, ricotta and whipped cream. The tail part is made of layered and crusty pastry, interlocking the same way a lobster's tail does.
Each bite was fluffy cloud pastry heaven. The pastry was thick and hearty enough to stand up to the filling, which was more on the whipped cream side than anything else. It was like something magical out of a Sanrio shop.
Fluffy Cloud Sweet Fun: Hello Kitty approved

Judah is a man who can eat oatmeal and canned tuna fish for six months straight without complaints.

Judah is not a foodie.

He has more important things to do like setting up health care facilities in impoverished 3rd world countries and saving people who get hit by buses.

So when he said "let's get the pistachio cannoli, I hear it's their specialty" it was done.

And holly molly this was the best cannoli I've ever had. The ricotta cream had the perfect amount of sweetness countered by the tart richness of the ricotta and the mellow pieces of pistachio. The shell was ultra fresh, carrying the filling well, but also breaking off with crispness and easy at the whim of my plastic fork. I lost interest in the lobstertail, passing it off to Judah, and focused on il canolo.
A Bean Town Must: The Pistachio Cannoli. 

Judah, raised on a co-op in New Mexico and also in the small town of Sisters, OR has a preference to Earth Mother's bounty so he selected the fresh fig square for us, possibly the most wholesome item on the menu at Mike's. Judah took the first bite and went back to his lobstertail dissection, puzzling his foodie friend. I took a bite to find a powerful burst of sweet and dark rummy fig flavor. A fig newton on a cocktail of roofies. The top and bottom pastry were fresh and buttery, but the filling was intense. Judah said it had too much booze in it. The truth is the piece was massive and it's unsuspecting richness overwhelmed us.
Fresh Fig Square 1, Us 0

We had our spread laid out for us with a beautiful view of the harbor.
The Boston Tea Party drama to the right. Mike's Pastry in front. Best friend to left. I am happy!

Mike's Pastry
300 Hanover Street
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 742-3050


Diana said...

These feels sort of like a dude, where's my car, moment. Can we have a sidewalk picnic sometime soon?

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Mmmhhh, those pastries look to die for! I love cannoli, but have never eaten another Italian Pastry....



Banana Wonder said...

Diana - Sidewalk picnic was all Judah but way more comfy than sitting on some stupid bench. Yes, sidewalk with ze TALFs soooooon!

Rosa - I want a cannoli right now.

gourmetpigs said...

Thanks! I went to Boston years ago and *might* have gone here (I went to some bakery in the North End but don't remember which). I'll be sure to visit/re-visit :)

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